New types of electron beam generated electric discharge in dense gases: A “Fountain” and a “Thunderstorm”

Sergey O. Macheret, Mikhail N. Shneider, Richard B. Miles

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The paper presents qualitative ideas and modeling resultson dynamics ofplasmas generated in air and other gases by injecting beams of high-energy electrons. Two distinct regimes are found, differing in a way that the excess negative charge brought in by the ionizing electron beam is removed. In the first regime, called a “fountain”, the charge is removed by the back current of plasma electrons towards the injection foil. In the second, called a “thunderstorm”, a substantial cloud of negative charge accumulates, and the increased electric field near the cloud causes a streamer to strike between the cloud and a positive or grounded electrode, or between two different clouds created by two different beams. A quantitative analysis, including electron beam propagation, electrodynamics, charge particle kinetics, and a simplified heat balance, is performed in 1D approximation. Effects of non-one-dimensionality are discussed qualitatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1999
Event30th Plasmadynamic and Lasers Conference, 1999 - Norfolk, United States
Duration: Jun 28 1999Jul 1 1999


Conference30th Plasmadynamic and Lasers Conference, 1999
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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